Tuesday, May 20, 2014
UFT Contract: The "VOTE NO" Caucus Says .......
They're flying in from all over the place. I'm assuming you're reading the great stuff over at the MORE blog.
We are better off with the old contract until we can get a better one. Vote NO on the UFT Contract Offer!!
Have you noticed that every new contract that has been imposed on us UFT members over the past two decades has more give-backs than improvements. This contract is no exception. Moreover, the top brass of the union continually manages to shove the new contracts down our throats with no discussion either in the chapters or even in the Delegates Assembly. Now we are being told that if we reject this rotten offer we will only make things worse because we can’t get anything better and we will have to “go to the end of the line” of unions negotiating with the City. However, the real truth is that things will get worse if we approve this deal. While it is true that a few people may get a few crumbs from this contract, for the vast majority it is a lose-lose deal. Here are three good reasons to VOTE NO:
1. The back pay totalling $3.4 million will be paid for by health care cuts that must be accepted all city workers. ! “If the other unions agree to similar health care savings, the spending cuts realized would total $3.4 billion, officials said — the same amount as the teachers’ union’s back pay.”
2. If this contract is approved teachers and staff of TWO HUNDRED (200) schools will find that they will NOT be covered by certain contract provisions and protections that the rest of us have.! “And in an effort to encourage innovation in areas like hiring and scheduling, 200 schools would be eligible to apply for exemptions from city and union regulations.”
3. The Department of Education wants to get rid of senior teachers and create a system of new teachers, who are paid less and can be forced to do anything, i.e., grovel, to keep their job, because they will have no tenure rights The UFT--”our” union--has gone along with this plan. The first major move against job protection happened two contracts ago with the elimination of seniority transfer rights originally established, not to give senior teachers privileges over junior teachers but to protect teachers and staff from arbitrariness and favoritism on the part of the principals so we didn’t have to grovel for our positions and could function with dignity. With this gone, senior teachers are targeted for “U” ratings so as to get rid of them because they cost more than a newer teacher.
Another consequence of getting rid of seniority transfer rights has been the creation of ATRs, the Absent Teachers Reserve. Most of the 1,500 ATRs are senior teachers who were not “selected” for rehiring by principals when some of the more than 160 schools were closed and new, smaller schools took their place. These senior teachers were not selected because they cost more than newer teachers, a consideration that has become critical since school principals now have their own, limited budget, a change implemented at the same time that seniority transfer rights were eliminated. These teachers are left with no permanent assignment. The DOE (and the UFT officials) evidently anticipate that that ATR’s will become demoralized and disgusted and quit--”disappear.” But many have not given up.
Therefore, this new contract will open a new offensive to get rid of these teachers. Principals would be asked to fill vacancies with teachers from the [ATR] pool, but they could dismiss them as soon as one day into the job. This is a gross violation of all that we have won in the way of protections of our rights and jobs against arbitrary or mean-spirited principals since the union was organized. Under the proposed agreement, schools would be asked to hire those teachers for vacancies starting in October, but principals would be given the power to remove the teachers if they performed poorly. If a teacher were twice rejected, the city would be allowed to begin the firing process.
We must say NO to this “streamlined” firing scheme!!
DO YOU NEED OTHER REASONS TO VOTE NO???
Then here are the reasons to vote NO raised by the MORE Caucus in the UFT:
“The raises do not keep up with the cost of living. 18% over 9 years is less than the rate of
inflation. In short, our real earnings will be less at the end of this contract than they
were at the beginning.
• We don’t get the original 8% raises until 2018 and we won’t get all the retro pay until
2020. Other city workers got their two 4% raises already and continue to earn them
each year. We will get them only in small increments beginning in 2015.
• Only minor changes to the teacher evaluation system: We are still being evaluated
based on student standardized test scores.
• This contract does not include reductions in class size.
• The contract introduces individual merit pay. The creation of Ambassador, Model, and
Master teacher categories will divide our members and encourage us to compete
against each other rather than collaborate with each other.
Tell the UFT officials to go back and get a good contract for us, one that strengthens our power and improves our living standard and protects us from nasty principals and not one that weakens our power and lessens our protections.”
Vote NO !!!!!The “VOTE NO!!” Caucus